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And now for the cleanup

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

James Meyer with Four Corners Roofing applies a patch to the roof of St. Columba School on Tuesday morning. The school was one of several sprouting leaks after the recent snow and rain storms.

By Dale Rodebaugh Herald staff writer

The return of the sun Tuesday after a three-day siege of rain and snow brought out contractors to repair roofs at schools and businesses.

For almost four days, a succession of storms dumped rain and heavy snow on Durango. At higher elevations, such as Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort, the precipitation fell mostly as snow, delivering a much-needed boost to the drought-stricken mountains.

In all, Durango received 1.94 inches of precipitation. The moisture had roof repair workers hustling Tuesday.

Fortunately for Riverview Elementary School, where minor leaking occurred in two classrooms, the roof was under warranty, said Julie Popp, spokeswoman for Durango School District 9-R. The contractor replaced asphalt-based roof tile, she said.

District maintenance people will replace ceiling panels – one stained and one bowed – in the classrooms, Popp said.

The roofs at Riverview Elementary and Durango High School, which also had a roof leak, were installed in 2005-06.

Roof repair was done Monday at the high school, where a half-dozen ceiling tiles were replaced, Popp said.

Popp didn’t know where in the high school the leak occurred, but it wasn’t in a classroom.

The 9-R capital budget, which was before district board members Tuesday, earmarks $1 million for safety and security, including roof work, Popp said.

Escalante Middle School and Needham Elementary School are in line for complete new roofs this summer, Popp said.

At St. Columba Catholic School, Principal Kevin Chick said roof work there involved plugging holes in an aging surface.

The school was built in 1954, and the current roof, a replacement, is 14 to 16 years old, Chick said.

A roof walk-over is done in the spring to identify potential problems, Chick said. But come winter, a pinhole may have been missed.

“There is never major damage,” Chick said. “We get a little water on a carpet or on a wall.”

Mark Isham at 4 Corners Roofing & Sheet Metal, which was doing the St. Columba work, said he had six crews out.

“All of them are doing roof repair,” Isham said. “Wet, heavy snow finds a place to get in where dry snow doesn’t.”

The storm didn’t spare The Durango Herald building or its building next door housing Buzztown. Late-working employees in the newsroom heard a crash about 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

They found that water entering a defective roof drain had brought down ceiling panels in the accounting department and the adjoining information-technology area.

Accounting supervisor Mike Wise said that when water in a roof drain above his department froze, it allowed water into other areas of the building.

Desks and papers in the accounting department were drenched. A conference room on the east side of the building and Buzztown next door sustained minor damage, Wise said.

Four Durango Mall tenants reported leaks from Friday to Sunday, said mall general manager Jessica Dombrowski. The mall’s on-site operations team responded, she said.

The mall practices preventive maintenance, but with 5 acres of roof, leaks are occasional issues, she said.

A number of tenants have rooftop air-conditioning units, Dombrowski said. The units can be a point of entry for water, especially in driving wind, she said.

“But everything is back to normal today,” Dombrowski said Tuesday.


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